ANDOVER cueman John Hunter reckons playing the young guns at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club has helped him dominate this season’s Cuestars Seniors (40+) Tour.
The 53-year-old claimed his fifth tournament win of the campaign in the eighth and final leg at Cue T’s Social & Snooker Lounge, Marchwood.
Hunter, who secured the rankings title in Salisbury last month, dropped only one frame all day and defeated Neil Craycraft (Didcot) 2-0 in the final.
He reckons his regular visits to Chandler’s Ford to take on top juniors like Connor Benzey, Oliver Sykes and Steven Hughes in hard-fought practice matches has sharpened his own game.
“Playing junior players has made such a difference,” he said.
“They’ve improved so that makes me have to play better. They’re fearless but now they’re getting a bit of nous about them. They’re becoming good match players.”
And he added: “I’m benefitting from the fact that I’m on a good run and people don’t seem to punish you so as much as when you’re losing.”
Paul Lawrence (Southampton), appearing in the semi-finals for the first time in over three years, lost 2-1 to Hunter.
Craycraft, meanwhile, had recorded the day’s highest break of 62 in a 2-0 last-four victory over Matt Ford (Bracknell).
The Dransfields-sponsored event attracted a 15-strong field.
A £500 prize fund is up for grabs in the Cuestars Seniors Championship for the top-20 ranked players at The Crucible Sports & Social Club, Newbury, on Sunday, April 28.
For more information about Leeds-based Dransfields – the UK’s largest independent supplier of gaming and amusement machines to pubs and clubs – go to www.dransfields.com.
Neil Craycraft: 62, 52, 45, 44.
John Hunter: 61, 56, 55, 53, 40.
Matt Ford: 55, 48, 48, 46.
Mike Quinnell: 55, 40.
Neil Carroll: 45.
ROUND-ROBIN GROUP POSITIONS
GROUP A: 1st, John Hunter (Salisbury SC); 2nd, Neil Craycraft (Jesters, Swindon); 3rd, Chris Rigby (Chertsey SSNR Club); 4th, Andrew Darken (Chertsey SSNR Club); 5th, Pat Patel (Crucible, Newbury).
GROUP B: 1st, Matt Ford (Sunninghill Comrades Club); 2nd, Paul Lawrence (Park Gate RBL); 3rd, Mike Quinnell (Old Bexley Ex-Servicemen’s Club); 4th, Neil Carroll (Chandlers Ford SC); 5th, Stephen Hills (Traders, Northfleet).
GROUP C: 1st, Darren Johnson (Petersfield Bowls & Snooker Club); 2nd, Paul Burt (Salisbury SC); 3rd, Steve Ashton (Salisbury SC); 4th, Richard Arnold (Salisbury SC); 5th, George Apperley (Crucible, Newbury).
QUARTER-FINALS (12 pts): Hunter 2-0 Quinnell, Lawrence 2-0 Burt, Ford 2-0 Rigby, Craycraft 2-0 Johnson.
SEMI-FINALS (15 pts, £15): Hunter 2-1 Lawrence, Craycraft 2-0 Ford.
FINAL (25/18 pts, £80/£40): Hunter 2-0 Craycraft.
Picture by Tim Dunkley
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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)